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Marks & Spencer in row over Muslim alcohol sales refusal

Published on Dec 23, 2013 6:44 PM
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Christmas decorations adorn the exterior of retailer Marks and Spencer's flagship store in London's West End on Nov 5, 2013. British retailer Marks & Spencer faced criticism on Monday, Dec 23, 2013, after it emerged that it allows Muslim staff to refuse to sell customers pork and alcohol. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - British retailer Marks & Spencer faced criticism on Monday after it emerged that it allows Muslim staff to refuse to sell customers pork and alcohol.

More than 8,000 people have signed up to a Facebook page calling for a boycott of the chain after an "extremely apologetic" Muslim checkout worker told a customer they would have to wait for another employee to sell them a bottle of champagne.

M&S, which is Britain's biggest clothing retailer as well as selling food and homeware, said that when employees have religious beliefs that restrict what foods or drinks they can handle it tries to place them in a "suitable role".

"We regret that in the case highlighted we were not following our own internal policy," a company spokeswoman said.

 
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